July 24, 2012

Art I Hate and Why: "The Politician: A Toy" by Billie Lawless

Nationality: American
Born-Died: Don't know, don't care
Creation Date: 1996
Size: Huge
Media: A bunch of crap glued together
Location: Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The only thing positive that I can say about this sculpture is that it was funded by private money.  Let fools throw their own money away, in my opinion.

For many years I drove past this artistic horror daily where it instilled in me the feeling that I had just seen a tragic accident involving clown cars. From these firsthand experiences, I can assure you that this sculpture is as asinine in real life as it is in these two photographs and that nothing significant is lost in the translation.  Although the photographs don't show the way the thing moves--its mouth mechanically opens and closes in what is supposed to be a statement about politicians--I would not call that any loss. It is a parody of a child's toy, but it certainly has less visual appeal than one as it was designed with less sensitivity and less wit.  If an artist is going to shamelessly rip off Picasso, they should at least rip off the good aspects of his work--the sensitivity to composition--not merely the cubist trappings.

one objectivist's art object of the day billie lawless politician
The garbage art as I will always remember it.
The first picture here perfectly summarizes the way I always experienced this sculpture: like a long joke that wasn't funny amidst the rotted-out background of Cleveland's gray Chester Avenue.*  Because sometimes stains refuse to be scrubbed away, this sculpture has recently been moved from Dunham Tavern to Cleveland State University where it will, no doubt, blight the campus.  When students look at it, I expect it will affect their minds in the manner of huffed lighter fluid, perhaps taking away their will to live a little more each day.  

one objectivist's art object of the day billie lawless politician
The newest eye-sore on CSU's campus
I don't want to know anyone who enjoys or pretends to enjoy this piece.

The best and quickest way to turn this sack of manure into some sort of flower would be to dump it into the lake as quickly as possible--preferably near Edgewater beach so that all the sewage and dead fish can help speed up the decay.  Perhaps once there it could become something of a refuge for zebra muscles.

* First, if you aren't familiar with Cleveland, Ohio, formerly a testament to capitalist prosperity and productivity, watch this video and this video. They will get you up to speed.  Second, while Cleveland has a great history of art and an amazing, world-class museum, I don't hesitate to say that it has the worst publicly viewable artworks I have ever seen.

No comments:

Post a Comment